Even In The Valley Of The Shadow


By David Nott
Prayer Coordinator – Youth for Christ Australia

Read: Psalm 23

Most of us are familiar with Psalm 23 – The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want…

Recently the fourth verse came to mind and I was drawn to look afresh at this Psalm of David.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…

In this broken world our great enemy, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). As a result, far too many young people find themselves walking daily through the valley of the shadow of death – their lives stained and damaged by forces of darkness along the way.

But a truth I am certain about is that God is not distant. He is right there in the battle fighting for their very lives. 

I have come to know the story of a young woman called Manuela. From childhood she suffered abuse, trauma and darkness that followed her as she grew up. Yet through all the dark valleys she clung to the belief that God was her hope.

She recounts battles with depression, drug and alcohol abuse and finding herself in a destructive homosexual relationship as a young adult. At one point, after an argument with her partner, she was on the toilet floor with a cord – ready to hang herself. The voices of demonic spirits were encouraging her, yet in this dark valley she cried out to God and the dark thoughts subsided.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me…

God was right there calling her out of the darkness. 

For a time, Manuela continued to find herself in dark valleys. During another dark suicidal episode God placed a Christian woman named Kerry in her life and, as they began a discipleship journey, Kerry showed her how to find deliverance and freedom in Christ.

God also showed Manuela that she will be used by Him to stand with others in their own dark valleys and bring them into the light. Manuela is now completing the YFC Abide internship, learning the depth of her identity in Christ, being equipped to stand firm in the spiritual battle using the weapons of divine power to break strongholds and bring others into the light.

Let’s keep standing firm in prayer for our youth – believing, in faith, for full restoration.

Manuela reminds me of the young Mary Magdalene in the Bible. Mary, tormented by many demons and desperate for hope and deliverance, found freedom and the love she desperately needed in her saviour Jesus. Mary’s transformation from darkness was so powerful that on one occasion, in the presence of those who scorned her, she expressed her adoration for her Lord while weeping. She wet his feet with her tears, wiped them with her hair and anointed them with alabaster ointment. Mary stood with Jesus as his enemies crucified him at the cross while other followers ran and hid in fear. And Mary was the first to arrive at the tomb and encounter Jesus after his resurrection.

I see this kind of faith in Manuela. She truly fears no evil, for He is with her. With Jesus by her side she stands with others in their dark valleys offering hope and calling them into the light.

As we come to the end of this 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting for our lost sons and daughters may you continue clinging to Jesus like Mary Magdalene and Manuela.

The Lord is my shepherd; 
I shall not want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures. 
He leads me beside still waters. 
He restores my soul. 
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

- Psalm 23 (ESV)

Let’s keep standing firm in prayer for our youth – believing, in faith, for full restoration.  

Prayer Focus

Claim in prayer every part of Psalm 23 for the lost sons and daughters in your life. Pray they may rise-up to “fear no evil, for He is with me!”  

About the 40 Day Prayer Campaign

Youth for Christ Australia is calling for 40 Days of Prayer and Fasting for the youth of our nation to awake to Christ as part of a broader mission to rescue and restore the lost youth of Australia through peer-to-peer evangelism and discipleship. 

Each week we'll publish a weekly devotional to encourage and help direct the prayers of those who have committed themselves to this initiative. To get more information about this Prayer Campaign click here. The 40 days officially end on Wednesday 7th April 2021.





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